DOLE Secretary Bello has recently come out with a statement reaffirming his sentiments on the importance of employees’ right to disconnect whenever they’re outside of their mandated work hours. His comments served as a response to emerging rhetoric on the importance of work-life balance and its impact on employee morale. More and more people are working from home these days as they protect themselves from the pandemic. But what kind of mental or emotional impact does this change in one’s work dynamics have on a person? Now that a huge bulk of the work force has been relegated to working at home, the separation between home and office life have blurred significantly.

Back in 2017, Quezon City congressman Rep. Winnie Castelo authored and submitted a bill in the Philippine House of Representatives calling for the amendment of the Labor Code. The bill featured specific provisions that were designed to grant workers the right to disconnect from their electronic communications when outside of their mandated working hours. However, the bill currently lies dormant in the House’s archives. Does this mean that individual HR Teams should take it upon themselves to come up with policies to promote employee morale?

Finding the Link Between Employee Morale and Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance is essentially the act of prioritizing between the personal and professional facets of a person’s life. But HR Teams already know this. It just so happens that there has been a tectonic shift in the way that companies are allowing their workers to conduct themselves. This new working environment has led to a new set of problems that HR leaders all over the world need to address.

The proliferation of mobile workstations has made it more difficult for workers to separate their work from their home life. In the past, it was a lot simpler to define a person’s scope of responsibility to a physical workstation or specified working hours. Although, given the changes brought about by technological advancements, changing market demands, and healthy and safety protocols, it’s no longer that simple. The whole idea of balancing one’s personal and professional life is just as complex now more than ever.

How HR Can Help Improve Employee Morale

Given all of that, we can now postulate that companies should indeed be paying closer attention to their policies surrounding the idea of work-life balance. Naturally, at the forefront of such policies are departments like HR. For example, HR Teams are supposed to keep track of employee work hours and their level of engagement while at work. This is an integral part of their mandate of being the guardians of employees’ well-being, among other major responsibilities.

hr area of concern

Of course, the best HR Teams understand that a failure to enforce a healthy work-life balance can compromise an employee’s level of engagement while also violating mandated work hours. That’s just one example. For more insights, here are some of the best practices that have been employed by leading HR specialists all over the world in an effort to promote a healthier work-life balance among their employees:

Cultivate a More Supportive Company Culture

At the end of the day, HR should be at the forefront of offering employees a supportive backbone that they can rely on for strength and motivation. This is especially true when it comes to cultivating an environment that promotes a healthy work-life balance. HR Teams can encourage employees to maximize vacation or sick leaves whenever appropriate.

Consistently Review Employee Workload

Too often, companies will be guilty of merely focusing on the results without paying closer attention to the process that one needs to go through to attain such results. While bumps in employee productivity might be a good thing, management needs to constantly reassess the workload that they are imposing on their work force and whether it’s sustainable for the long-term. Sometimes, these short-term productivity boosts aren’t sustainable and employees end up getting burned out because too much is being demanded of them too quickly.

Protect Employees from Inappropriate Client Interactions

This tip is particularly important for employees whose jobs require them to be in direct communications with clients. It’s important that the company enforces strict policies in maintaining cordial and professional working relationships between its clients and employees. Even something as simple as disallowing employee-client communications outside work hours is a very good measure in enforcing a healthy work-life dynamic within the office.

Promote Health and Wellness within the Office

Whether in one’s personal or professional life, health and wellness are crucial. People who work long corporate hours are especially more susceptible to leading very sedentary and unhealthy lifestyles. These kinds of unhealthy lifestyles can result in compromised health for the employee and that will not only compromise their work, but their life as a whole. This is why companies should make it a point to be more open to exploring new ways of promoting health and wellness within the office. Whether it be through comprehensive insurance plans, promotional gym memberships, or even just having a well-stocked pantry of healthy food, a little effort can go a long way in making employees feel like they are cared for.

Embrace Technology to Promote Appropriate Tracking

Of course, there are only so many things that HR Teams can do on their own without the help of the proper tools and technology. Intuitive technological tools like Payruler offer timekeeping features that allow for a stricter implementation of employees working only within specified office hours. This high-level of precision when it comes to tracking an employee’s time can be very effective at helping separate their home and office life, regardless of the location of their physical workstation.

Allow Flexible or Remote Working

This should practically go without saying during a time of a global pandemic wherein everyone is encouraged to stay home. Sometimes, employees won’t be comfortable with reporting to work if they feel like they are more susceptible to getting sick. This kind of stress and anxiety might compromise their productivity and efficiency when forced to come into work. If possible, allow employees to engage in remote working, especially when they are immunocompromised. After all, in the advent of technology, it’s a lot easier for teams to work remotely and still stay productive now with all of the communication tools that are available out there.

Encourage Breaks

We already talked earlier about how companies should look to encourage their employees to make the most out of sick leaves and vacation leaves. That’s a good practice for preventing burnout in the long haul. However, it would also be prudent to encourage breaks within the daily life of an employee as well. Try to encourage your employees to not work through their lunch breaks so that they can take the time to reset and recalibrate themselves in the middle of the day.

Implement a Strong Employee Feedback System

Employees need to feel like they’re heard. It can be very demotivating and discouraging to work in a corporate structure that doesn’t make one’s voice feel valued. HR Teams should be at the forefront of allowing employees to air out certain grievances or exceptions to policies within the workplace. This kind of open and honest communication can foster a healthier work environment that empowers employees and makes them feel more respected and dignified.

Enforce Strict Work-Life Balance Guidelines

Lastly, HR should be strict about practicing what you preach. If a company truly wants to enforce proper work-life balance guidelines, then it all starts with management. Even simple rules like disallowing late-night phone calls or weekend emails to employees can go a long way in building a healthy work environment. HR should take it upon themselves to enforce such policies in order to really cultivate that ideal company culture for the benefit of everyone.


There is indeed a lot of controversy surrounding the idea of work-life balance even when the facts are clear. Establishing a company culture that promotes a healthy work-life balance is not just beneficial for employees, but for employers as well. It’s just a matter of figuring out what tools and policies should be in place in order to promote such an atmosphere within the company. Ultimately, there is a lot of work that has yet to be done in this regard. The fact that the parameters surrounding workplace dynamics are constantly changing doesn’t make the feat any easier. What are your thoughts on this matter? How do you feel about the importance of work-life balance?